Stroboscopic photo of a wink being potted in the game of tiddlywinks The North American Tiddlywinks Association
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Alleghany Airlines Book Club Presents

A compendium of tiddlywinks perversions by Sunshine

February 1976

Typed and illustrated by Caron Schwartz

Table of Contents








To many people, "Tiddlywinks" is a children's game in which winks are shot into a cup and everyone wonders where the tiddlies are.* The image is a mindless game requiring only limited manual skill. To those familiar with NATwA (North American Tiddlywinks Association), or similar organizations in the British Isles, Winks is a complex strategical game with an interesting balance between tactics and a numerous variety of dexterous skills. There is also a non-standard (perverse, in winks argot) side to winks, which this publication will attempt to illustrate.

Winks does not have to be played or practiced in any one given way. The winking environment, the equipment available, the number of players, and the individual preferences of the people involved, has produced a good number of derivative games that emphasize different aspects, indeed invent new aspects, of the game of winks.

Some perversions consist of manipulation of the rules of the parent four colour game. One class emphasizes the potting side of the game under various conditions, another the squopping angle. These games are useful for practicing specified parts of the game. For variety, equipment is misused to provide a truly perverted class of games, capable of offending purist winkers. Then there is an answer to the question of whether winks is a sport or "merely a game". Winks lends itself very well to sports simulations. Very complex rules have been developed that seem to animate the winks to the status of players and change the player into the coach.

One thing true of many of the perversions to be to be described here is that they are repeatedly being perverted. Perverting a game is essentially recognition of the arbitrariness of the rules and changing them to suit one's fancy.

* Recent research has shown that as late as 1894 tiddlies was a well defined term.


The following is a short list of winking terms needed to understand the game descriptions that follow. For information on other winking terms, consult the official rule book. [or the Lexicon of Tiddlywinks]

Winks is played on a felt surface (mat), using a larger circular plastic counter (squidger) to flick small plastic counters (winks), either to another position on the mat or into a cup (pot).

Any variation from the four colour game described in the offic[i]al rule book. Perversion is not intended to indicate any negative connotation, only change.

To pot
Attempt to shoot a wink into the cup. In most games an additional shot is awarded for successful pots. Players have "potted out" when all of their winks are in the pot.

To squop
Any wink covered, however slightly, by another wink, is considered squopped. In many games one of the chief goals is to squop your opponents['] winks, as a squopped wink may not be played. When all the winks of one player are squopped, that player is "squopped out".

Loss of turn
In most games the shooting of a wink off the playing surface (mat) is penalized by the offending player losing his or her turn.

Squidge off
All players shoot one wink from their baseline (starting point) towards the pot. The player landing closest to (or, better yet in) the pot, wins the squidge off. In some games the squidge off is used solely to determine the playing order and the winks are returned to the baseline for the game.

End of game
Some games have a specified time limit, others are played until a particular result occurs - such as players being potted out or squopped out.

Back to the table of contents for Sunshine's Alleghany Airlines Book Club Presents catalog of tiddlywinks perversions.

If you have your own tiddlywinks perversions, send them to Rick Tucker is the official web site of the North American Tiddlywinks Association.
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